The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) officially commissioned into service the BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702), a multi-role response vessel, in a ceremony held at Pier 15, South Harbor in Manila on Sunday, June 12.
President Duterte led the ceremony which coincided with the celebration of the 124th anniversary of the declaration of the Philippines’ independence.
Duterte read the commission order before the BRP Melchora Aquino which was witnessed by PCG officials led by Admiral Artemio Abu, PCG Commandant.
He then granted the permission to the commanding officer and first watch or sentinel to “set the watch” which commenced the BRP Melchora Aquino’s official duty as a commissioned vessel.
Duterte then rendered a salute to acknowledge the vessel.
The BRP Melchora Aquino is one of the two largest white ships acquired by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the PCG through its Maritime Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) Phase 2.
“It is ready to conduct patrols in the country’s maritime jurisdictions including the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise,” said Adm. Artemio Abu, PCG Commandant.
Named after Melchora Aquino, popularly known as “Tandang Sora” and the “Mother of Katipunan,” the MRRV-9702 is patterned after the Japan Coast Guard’s Kunigami-class vessel like her sister ship, BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701).
The two ships have a maximum speed of not less than 24 nautical miles per hour, and endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles.
The BRP Melchora Aquino arrived in Manila last May 27 under the sailing crew led by Commander Patrick Babag after they departed from the Shimonoseki Shipyard in Japan.